Towards the end of 2017 I was asked to be a "model" for a creative networking event called Locations that brings photographers, designers, stylists, and other creatives together to collaborate and cross-pollinate each other's work. Although I have a love for selfies, I in no way consider myself to be a model and was flattered at the thought of someone wanting me to show up in that way. So, despite having deep insecurities about doing it, I decided to put myself out there and go for it. Do I have a career in modeling? Certainly not, but I had fun and got to connect with other creative and talented people in my city that I likely would never have had the chance to interact with otherwise.
OK, so what's the point in all of this other than to self-congratulate for doing things that seem pretty easy to do? The point is to remind myself—and anyone reading this—that when you have an idea for something new, different, creative, risky, or outside of the norm you've got to squash the negative comments or "but what if..?" feelings that will inevitably creep up and try to talk you out of doing the thing you were excited about.
Will someone think it's absurd for a 35-year-old man to take a hip hop dance class? Probably. Will someone see the photos of me from Locations and think I'm a totally disgusting troll human or a raging narcissist? I wouldn't be surprised in the least. But if I/we only do things because we know we'll be successful at them, or because other people have deemed them acceptable, we are denying ourselves the chance to experience new things or possibly discover a love or talent for something that makes us happy.